Exercise culminates in explosion of firepower

Exercise Rhino Run culminated in a 24-hour crescendo of combat power by 7th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (7RAR), 1st Armoured Regiment and 1st Combat Engineer Regiment.

CAPTIONAn Australian Army soldier fires an M3 Carl Gustav during the culminating activity on Exercise Rhino Run at Cultana Training Area, South Australia. Story by Captain Peter March. Photo by Sergeant Peng Zhang.

The 9th Brigade’s culminating combined arms exercise for 2024 comprised about 1400 personnel from the ADF and US Marine Corps (USMC), who took on the unforgiving expanse of the Cultana Training Area, South Australia, enduring chilly, dust-choking winds during a month of training.

The exercise centred on 7RAR Battle Group Boar, but developed the full range of capabilities across the brigade, including the generation of an integrated Battle Group based on 10th/27th Battalion, the Royal South Australia Regiment.

The exercise evaluated the ability of combat teams and headquarters to plan and conduct tactical actions against a near-peer adversary, within a contemporary, combined arms setting.

Commanding Officer 7RAR Lieutenant Colonel Von Lambert said it was a significant exercise for his unit, which will soon be re-linked with 5th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, and relocated to Darwin.

“Today marked the culminating point of our live-fire training as part of our final activity as Battle Group Boar, and the 7th Battalion, in the field here in Cultana,” Lieutenant Colonel Lambert said.

“It’s bittersweet, and we’re really proud of our efforts, and we’re really proud of the last 12 years of the 7th Battalion here in South Australia.”

Despite the sentiment, Lieutenant Colonel Lambert insisted 7RAR remained future-focused.

“The key theme for us throughout Exercise Rhino Run has been readiness, and as part of that readiness it’s an austere and expeditionary mindset,” he said.

Commander 9th Brigade Brigadier Tim Orders said it all worked to ensure units were prepared for whatever the future held.

“As an Army, we’re the experts in land combat, and this activity has helped us to remain focused on our readiness,” Brigadier Orders said.

“It’s important that we remind ourselves that what we do here is hard. Combined arms warfare is difficult and requires significant practice.

CAPTIONAustralian Army officer Major Ryan Bell, of Headquarters 9th Brigade, talks with members of the US Marine Corps during Exercise Rhino Run. Photo by Captain Peter March.

“Today is a culmination of four weeks of hard training to ensure that we are ready.”

Brigadier Orders said having teams from 1st, 2nd, 6th and 17th Brigades, and the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin join 9th Brigade provided a valuable enhancement to the training outcomes.

“We’re very fortunate to have teams from flanking formations, as well as our partners and mates from the United States Marine Corps, join us for this exercise,” he said.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the support they provided to us.

“Partnerships are key, and the close relationship that we have with the USMC, particularly with their footprint in Darwin, is incredibly important, and we’re fortunate to be able to train alongside them here in South Australia.”





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